Here are twofinancial flyers that deserve some brotherly love from investors. There is a good chance they will reward your filial devotion.
Up Close and personal
Merchant banker Close Brothers Group (LSE: CBG) offers its customers lending, deposit taking, wealth management services and securities trading. This FTSE 250 company employs more than 3,000 people, mainlyin the UK, and offers its services to both individuals and small businesses, plus a range of related services to retail brokers, asset managers and institutional investors.
It has made plenty ofmoney for investors lately, with itsshare price up 25% over the past 12 months, and 130% over five years. Last weeks Q3 results saw its banking division report a solid loan book,up 4.1% year-to-date at 6.7bn, with management confident of delivering a good result for the full year. Itsproperty and security businesses also performed strongly, although retail finance and commercial finance loans disappointed.
Buoyant stock markets have drivenClose Brothers, with strong net inflows into its asset management division, up 7% to 8.5bn, takingtotal client assets to 10.7bn. This is all very promising and operating margins of 33% also impress, although there are signs the growth story mayslow. Earnings per share (EPS) are expectedto dip by 1% in the year to 31 July 2017, then climb just 3% subsequently. Todays valuation of 12.4 times earnings and yield of 3.5% looks undemanding nonetheless.
So to another set of siblings,wealth manager Rathbone Brothers (LSE: RAT). Theirspecialisms include investment management services for individuals, charities and professional advisers, including financial planning, tax and trusts, multi-manager portfolios and offshore investment management. Investors in the FTSE 250 company, which has a market cap of 1.25bn, have also enjoyed a successful 12 months, the share price up 25% in that time. Over five years it has grown 110%. At these growth rates, Close Brothers and Rathbone Brothers are starting to look like identical twins.
One major difference is the valuation. While Close looks affordable judging by its price-to-earnings ratio of 12.4, Rathbone looks pricierat 20.12 times. Its dividend yield is also lower at 2.32%. However, Rathbone has been flying lately,with total funds under management risinga whopping 22.2% to35.8bn on31 March, up from 29.3bn a year ago.
Goodto the bone
Rathbonehas been boosted both by strong markets andinvestment performance, withchairman Mark Nicholls hailing itssuccessful progress towards strategic goals, while dutifully warning of continuing political and economic uncertainties.
However once again, City forecasters are anticipating a slowdown, as measured by EPS, which are expected to rise just 3% this calendar year, although that leaps to11% in 2018. Forecast revenue growth looks steady, up from 251m in 2015 to 275m this year and 295m in2018.
Close Brothers and Rathbone Brothers displayanother sibling similarity. Operating in the same industry, bothare subject to exactly the same macro tailwinds. Theylook like tempting growth plays today, with global stock markets bubbling aroundall-time highs. If markets dip, the brothers could be in a spot of bother. However, that might be an even better timeto buy them.
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